“The water in my park has been cut-off for more than a day. If this continues, I don’t feel like I should have to pay all of my rent. Running water is a guaranteed utility in my agreement, so it doesn’t feel right to pay for a basic service that isn’t even working. Should I withhold rent until this problem is fixed?”
– Andrew K., 32, California
No, do not try to withhold your rent. If you attempt to coerce the park this way, you’ll most likely be evicted with limited legal recourse.
Your frustration is understandable, as basic running water is a guarantee in most housing agreements. Mobilehome Residency Law requires a park to keep common facilities in good working order and condition, and this extends to utilities as well. (Civil Code §798.15(d))
So, the best course of action is to report the issue. You should file an emergency complaint with the Department of Housing (HCD), or the local enforcement agency if they have jurisdiction over the park. An inspector can cite the park for the water issue and require them to provide bottled water and alternative bathing facilities until the problem is fixed.
This is a much more effective option that won’t put your residency in jeopardy.
- A resident is not allowed to deduct rent, even in the event of a utility shut-off.
- If a shutoff occurs, contact the HCD or another appropriate housing agency.